National Park: Paterson Great Falls, New Jersey
The nation’s newest park doesn’t have a mountain range or sweeping vistas, but it is conveniently located just off the Garden State Parkway exit 159. As of November 7, 2011, the Great Falls on the Passaic River in Paterson, New Jersey, is a National Historic Park.
Many residents of the city didn’t even know the falls were there.
At 77 feet, the falls are second only to Crabtree Falls in Virginia as the highest on the East Coast. When Alexander Hamilton was secretary of the Treasury, he selected Great Falls to be the site of the nation’s first planned industrial city. Later Paterson became the site of the first water-powered cotton spinning mill in New Jersey, and the state’s first continuous roll paper mill. Now there are plans for a new urban state park surrounding the falls.